“A good moral character is the first essential in a man, and that the habits contracted at your age are generally indelible, and your conduct here may stamp your character through life. It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous.” —George Washington (1790)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- King stripped of committee assignments. Now it’s Democrats’ turn.
- Judges are upholding Obama’s executive actions by striking down Trump’s.
- Ecofascists are warning that emissions are slated to take off once again. Wrong.
- Daily Features: On the Web, Columnists, Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Opinion in Brief, and Short Cuts.
Republicans have been united and swift in rebuking one of their own, Iowa Rep. Steve King, over his recent and repeated history of seemingly racist remarks. On Monday, these public reprimands led to action as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) stripped King of his committee assignments, stating, “We will not tolerate this type of language in the Republican Party … or in the Democrat Party as well.” He further explained that King’s statements “call into question whether he will treat all Americans equally, without regard for race and ethnicity. … Let us hope and pray earnestly that this action will lead to greater reflection and ultimately change on his part.”
However, thus far, there has been no change on King’s part. He defiantly insists that his statements were “completely mischaracterized” and claims that McCarthy was motivated by “a political decision that ignores the truth.” Meanwhile, several House Democrats have introduced censure resolutions against King, so more discipline could be coming.
So about those Democrats… In the midst of this very public condemnation of King by both Democrats and Republicans, Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel highlighted the glaring hypocrisy of Democrats for failing to deal with racism within their own ranks. McDaniel pointedly asserted, “[The] GOP leader made the right decision. There’s no place for white supremacy in our country & it’s totally inconsistent with the Republican Party. I hope Nancy Pelosi also takes action against all the Democrats who continue to associate with prominent anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.”
McDaniel makes a cogent point. When will Pelosi take action against Democrats such as Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)? She recently dined with Abbas Hamideh, a “Palestinian right of return” activist with a history of expressing anti-Semitic views that include calling Israel a “terrorist entity” that “has no basis to exist.” Hamideh also stated in 2015, “Yes, the Nazis are still around with a different name: Zionists!”
The trouble is Democrats are willfully ignoring (if not cultivating) the growing anti-Semitism within their own ranks. They love to speak about themselves as the party of diversity and inclusion when in fact Democrats have a long history steeped in racism. It’s ironic that current Democrat 2020 presidential hopefuls are currently courting Al Sharpton in efforts to gain his endorsement. It speaks volumes that Democrats still stubbornly view Sharpton, despite his long checkered history of anti-Semitic sentiments and racial provocations, as an important leading figure within their party.
Did we mention that today is Martin Luther King Jr.‘s birthday? Or that Democrats have grossly distorted his legacy?
“A federal judge in Pennsylvania has blocked the Trump administration from implementing a rule allowing employers to decline to offer contraceptive coverage on moral or religious grounds,” NPR reports. U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone expanded nationwide a previous ruling by U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. that had applied only to 13 states and DC.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra applauded Beetlestone’s ruling: “The law [ObamaCare] couldn’t be clearer — employers have no business interfering in women’s healthcare decisions. [This] court ruling stops another attempt by the Trump Administration to trample on women’s access to basic reproductive care.”
Becerra and his cohorts prefer that the government coerce employers to provide for all health care without having any opinion about it. That’s because the leftist idea of “rights” is actually privileges often paid for by someone else.
Meanwhile, the Left does nothing but mock the idea of actual rights. For example, The Washington Post contemptuously notes, “The dispute centers on the issue of 'religious liberty’ — an animating cause for social conservatives who are part of President Trump’s political base.” Yes, the leftist rag put religious liberty in scare quotes. That liberty is not, however, merely “an animating cause” for a political faction. Religious liberty is guaranteed by the Constitution. Health care paid for by someone else is not.
Another larger point here is that this is another example of something President Donald Trump was elected to do — appoint constitutionalist judges to fight back against the activist rulings of leftist judicial despots. Any number of Trump’s policies, from immigration to contraception to a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, have been blocked by judges who are, to borrow a phrase, animated by the anti-Trump base.
National Review’s David French illustrates the pattern:
Step One: The Obama administration uses its executive power to implement a progressive policy (such as DACA or the contraceptive mandate).
Step Two: The Trump administration uses its executive power to repeal the Obama-administration action and implement a more conservative policy.
Step Three: Progressive plaintiffs file suit in a friendly jurisdiction using dubious legal theories to seek a broad injunction against the Trump-administration action.
Step Four: Progressive judges join the #Resistance, write obviously flawed opinions, and seek to freeze Obama’s policies in legal amber.
What’s more, the contraception mandate is not actually written into the ObamaCare law but rather its resulting regulatory outworking. In other words, it was an executive decision, as is Trump’s move to limit its scope. The same could be said for DACA and other policies Barack Obama implemented by executive fiat but activist judges are blocking Trump from undoing. It’s almost as if Obama’s wishes are these judges’ commands, while Trump has no authority to do anything. That kind of judicial despotism has nothing to do with Rule of Law and everything to do with a craven political agenda.
A paradoxical development in the U.S. of late has been its reduced CO2 footprint. This reduction has occurred even though President Donald Trump removed the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. Yet the Left assured us this feat was impossible to accomplish without acceding to a global pact. Now ecofascists are asserting that new data on CO2 emissions prove that the downward trend in emissions is unsustainable and that emissions are slated to take off once again. They are wrong on both counts.
According to the Rhodium Group, “After three years of decline, US carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rose sharply last year. Based on preliminary power generation, natural gas, and oil consumption data, we estimate emissions increased by 3.4% in 2018. This marks the second largest annual gain in more than two decades — surpassed only by 2010 when the economy bounced back from the Great Recession.”
Investor’s Business Daily says the report “has set off alarms in all the predictable media quarters.” But before getting our knickers in a twist, it’s important to consider why emissions might have risen. “Thanks to a booming economy set off by President Trump’s new trade deals, tax cuts and deregulation, in the past two years the U.S. has seen manufacturing jobs surge,” Investor’s explains. That surge manifested in roughly 500,000 additional manufacturing positions. “All those people going back to work in refurbished factories in America’s Heartland … helped push emissions from manufacturing up 5.7% last year alone.”
Other causes for the emissions increases might include jet fuel (33.1%), diesel fuel (3%), electricity producers (1.9%), and Old Man Winter. “That’s right,” Investor’s says. “Businesses and homes used more fuel for heat than they have in years. Rhodium noted that CO2 from this winter effect rose 10% in 2018.” A similar situation could unfold this year. Over the coming weeks, severe cold is expected to encompass a large swath of the country.
“A healthy economy always produces more CO2 when it’s growing fast than otherwise,” Investor’s observes. “Our current growth rate is roughly 50% higher than it was under President Obama. If it didn’t produce more CO2, that would be surprising.” The editors also point out, “By the way, those gains in CO2 won’t go on forever. The next slump or slowdown will take care of that, by causing many companies to close and many people to lose their jobs. And fracking will continue to chip away at our CO2 emissions. … The truth is, the world is getting much cleaner, when measured by CO2 output per dollar of GDP. So is the U.S. It’s decarbonizing. And as the world population begins to decline later this century and new energy technologies come on line … CO2 emissions won’t be a problem, real or imagined.”
In other words, when it comes to emissions rhetoric, our media need to cool it. A warming economy is far more alluring than a temporary increase in CO2 that, truth be told, may not even have anything to do with climate change.
ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY
- Democrats Move to Strip States of Election Powers — House Dems push a bill to federalize much of what the Constitution set up as state authority.
- Pompeo Brings New Attitude to the Middle East — It’s a very welcome change from the gross foreign policy plunders of the Barack Obama years.
- Video: Assault Weapon Bans Are All About Appearance — Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s latest bill classifies firearms not by what they do but based on how they look.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
- Trump and lawmakers paralyzed over shutdown as both sides remain dug in (The Washington Post)
- “Gang of 20” emerges in Senate to push for a border wall deal (Washington Examiner)
- Activists jump Nancy Pelosi’s mansion wall with illegal immigrants, demand entry to her home (The Daily Caller)
- Number of no-show airport security screeners soars in shutdown (Associated Press)
- Hundreds of Hondurans set off toward U.S. in new caravan (Reuters)
- Pentagon extends mission to Mexico border through September (Reuters)
- Federal judge rules against Trump administration’s plan to add 2020 census citizenship question (The Hill)
- Supreme Court rejects challenge to Matt Whitaker’s appointment as acting attorney general (NBC News)
- EPA criminal action against polluters hits 30-year low (Associated Press)
- Humor: Ocasio-Cortez accuses math of sexism (The Babylon Bee)
- Policy: The Supreme Court should make politics local again (National Review)
- Policy: Planning for military strikes on Iran is actually the responsible thing to do (Washington Examiner)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
When Sue Morse requested on Facebook that friends send her father well-wishes for his Dec. 30 birthday, she expected maybe 160 cards. At 96, World War II veteran and Purple Heart medal recipient Duane Sherman has survived most of his friends. His wife of 57 years, Lois, died in 2011. His daughter said she wanted her dad to feel special on his birthday.
As of Jan. 9, Sherman received more than 50,000 letters at his home in Fullerton, California.
Read more at Stars and Stripes.
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
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OPINION IN BRIEF
Rich Lowry: “As part of the executive branch, the FBI should brush up on the powers of the chief executive. The president gets to fire subordinate executive branch officials. He gets to meet with and talk to foreign leaders. He gets to make policy toward foreign nations. Especially important to the current investigation, he gets to say foolish, ill-informed and destructive things. If the president wants to tilt toward Russia (not that Trump really has, except in his words), he can. If he wants to butter up China’s dictatorial president during high-stakes trade negotiations, he can. If he wants to announce a precipitous withdrawal from Syria and make it slightly less precipitous in a fog of confusion, he can. And the FBI should have nothing to say about it. The Times story is another sign that we have forgotten the role of our respective branches of government. It is Congress that exists to check and investigate the president, not the FBI.”
For the record: “Joking comments, minor changes to the Republican Party’s platform and the legal firing of the FBI director hardly constitute collusion with Russia. If the things cited against Trump are evidence of collusion with Russia, then the entire Democrat Party should have been under suspicion for years. Ted Kennedy invited the Russians to meddle in our elections. Democrats opposed everything Ronald Reagan did to fight the Soviet Union. Obama did nothing when Putin invaded Ukraine. And what about Hillary’s attempt to ‘reset’ our relations with Russia or sell 20% of our uranium to a Russian company?” —Gary Bauer
Food for thought: “When the top tax rate was 70 percent in 1980, the richest 1 percent paid about 20 percent of all income taxes. In 2016, the most recent year we have good data, with a top tax rate of 39.6 percent, the top 1 percent paid almost 40 percent of income taxes. This suggests that if [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] or [Elizabeth] Warren were to have their way, the rich would pay less, not more, of the burden of the taxes.” —Stephen Moore
Friendly fire: “I don’t want us Democrats going out and making false promises. As I said in the op-ed that I wrote, free college is not the answer. The Democratic Party should not support Terry McAuliffe’s kids going to college. I can afford to send my kids.” —Terry McAuliffe
Non Compos Mentis: “I didn’t call [Louis Farrakhan] the greatest of all time because of his rhetoric. I called him the greatest of all time because of what he’s done in black communities.” —Women’s March co-president Tamika Mallory
Alpha Jackass: “Today SCOTUS decides whether it will hear an Indiana case requiring mandatory cremation/ burial for abortions AND miscarriages based on ‘dignity of personhood[.]’ If they take it, & decide medical waste is a person, ROE IS DEAD. PLEASE PAY ATTENTION.” —"The Daily Show" creator Lizz Winstead
And last… “No one accused Obama of being a Russian agent after he asked for ‘more flexibility’ until after the the election, or when Obama ignored Putin’s invasion into Crimea, or when Assad used chemical gas in Syria and Obama’s red line was crossed.” —Charlie Kirk
Join our editors and staff in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families. We also humbly ask prayer for your Patriot team, that our mission would seed and encourage the spirit of Liberty in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher